Perlas primes up for PVL quarters, subdues Iriga

MANILA, Philippines — BanKo-Perlas blew four match points in the fourth but pulled through just the same, foiling Iriga-Navy, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, and bolstering its quarterfinal campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

Playmaker Jem Ferrer came up with a tip dump shot that caught the Lady Oragons flat-footed as the Perlas Spikers clinched the elusive point for the win, their second straight in a big finish in the elims campaign for a 3-4 card.

Though they wound up tied for sixth with the PetroGazz Angels, the Perlas Spikers had built some kind of momentum heading to the next phase of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.

Tacloban also enhanced its bid in the next round as it stunned defending champion Pocari-Air Force, 25-17, 17-25, 25-20, 16-25, 15-10, to finish its elims campaign at 4-3.

Jovielyn Prado defied two Pocari blockers with a power hit to end the back-and-forth duel as the Fighting Warays dropped the Lady Warriors to joint fifth at 3-4.

BanKo-Perlas, which checked its skid with a five-set win over PayMaya last week, looked headed for a romp after posting a 22-18 lead on a Dzi Gervacio cross-court attack in the fourth.

But the Lady Oragons refused to give up, taking the next three points, aided by two BanKo-Perlas miscues, and forcing extension four times, the last at 26 before import Kia Bright banged in a vicious kill and Ferrer delivered the match-clinching shot that slipped through the arms of Iriga-Navy defenders.

Earlier, Air Force pounced on a skidding Instituto Estetico Manila and carved out a 25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22 victory to even its card at 2-2 in the men’s division.

The loss was IEM’s third straight after sweeping its first two games.